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Second Chances: New thrift shop offers women hope through local charity

Savannah Vasquez
svasquez@thedestinlog.com
Path of Grace II thrift store offers lightly used furniture, appliances and home décor the proceeds of which go to support women overcoming substance abuse.

A new thrift store in Destin, Path of Grace II, means a second chance for Tiffany Garner. Garner is one of the 24 women currently living at the Path of Grace Recovery Homes program based in Miramar Beach. Path of Grace is a faith-based, 12-step recovery program for women coming out of substance abuse situations and the thrift store plays a big role in supporting the non-profit’s efforts.

“The proceeds from this store are what run the program and the program is what saved our lives,” Garner said. “Here (at the thrift store) you learn how to work with society again.”

Eddie Mansfield, the managing director for Path of Grace said the opening of this second thrift store in the area marks a point of growth for the non-profit.

“We are 100-percent non-profit, meaning all of the money we generate here goes back into keeping the program running,” he said. “Our program is growing and one of the biggest goals right now is raising money to build a house that would house 11 women. It will also give the ladies that live there an exercise room, a community kitchen, a dining hall and a laundry mat.”

Mansfield explained that the thrift store not only offers revenue for the recovery program but also offers the women in the program a place to serve and learn self-confidence through work and socialization.

“The thrift stores offer work therapy for the women and it teaches them life skills,” he said. “This is then combined with one-on-one and group therapy in the program every week.”

The women volunteer their time in the thrift store driving delivery and pick-up trucks and managing sales and merchandise and after they have reached a certain point in the 12-18 month program, money is placed in savings accounts in their name.

“We put money in an account once a month after they have stayed six-months in the program,” said Mansfield. “What it does is gives them an incentive to stay because the longer they stay the better their chance for success.”

The new 8,500 square-foot thrift store, Path of Grace II, is located at 36058 Emerald Coast Parkway in Destin and is open Monday-Saturday 10 a.m. to 5 p.m.

“We mainly offer lightly used furniture, appliances, art and electronics,” Mansfield said of the new thrift store. “Soon we may be adding a small used clothing boutique and more up-scale stuff.”

For Path of Grace resident Jennifer Jones the thrift store has restored her faith in humanity.

“We learn to appreciate the community and have hope that there is a job out there for us,” she said. “We get a lot of community support from churches, organizations and individuals and without the community coming to donate and purchase from our thrift store we could not function.”

For more information or to make a donation to the Path of Grace thrift stores call 654-8500.

For information on entering the recovery program call Eddie Mansfield at 974-4573.

For more information or to make a donation to the Path of Grace thrift stores call 654-8500.

For information on entering the recovery program call Eddie Mansfield at 974-4573.

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